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Love in the Years of Lunacy: A Novel Paperback – November 6, 2012

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Editorial Reviews

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Pearl Willis, an 18-year-old saxophone player living in 1942 Sydney, is a pretty lucky girl. She plays regularly at the posh Trocadero ballroom and gets to sit in with her brother’s band, playing jazz standards and new pieces at some of the hottest underground GI clubs in the city. It’s at the Booker T. Washington club that she meets jazz celebrity James Washington, an African American GI who immediately falls for Pearl. When James is shipped out to New Guinea, Pearl has to decide how much she’s willing to sacrifice to stay with him. Award-winning Australian novelist and memoirist Sayer has created a compelling and layered Pacific WWII love story. The connection between Pearl and James is palpable, and the rarely examined Australian contribution to the Allied war effort will intrigue historical-fiction buffs. Sayer’s ability to balance vivid wartime imagery, Pearl’s musical prowess, and a burgeoning relationship will appeal to fans of Sara Gruen, Janie Pendleton, and the film The Piano Teacher. Brimming with action and emotion, this is a haunting and authentic novel. --Stephanie Turza

Review

“I remember this time from my childhood, the concentration of fear and erotic hopes, and Mandy Sayer is brilliant as usual in both celebrating that time and transcending it in this remarkable love story for all desperate times and places.” —Thomas Keneally
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Atria Books; Reprint edition (November 6, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451678460
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451678468
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.9 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,639,449 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By OOSA Online Book Club on March 3, 2013
Format: Paperback
When Pearl, a white female jazz saxophonist, and James, a black American GI, begin a love affair in war gripped Sydney in the 1940s, one already knows this is going to be a hard fought love story. In the midst of dealing with the times and a budding forbidden love, James is shipped off to fight in New Guinea, and Pearl is determined to reunite with her love.

Mandy Sayer’s “Love in the Years of Lunacy” was an intensely interesting love story that will tug at your heart. The lives of the lovers take readers through an emotional rollercoaster that is heightened by the backdrop of war. I would recommend this book to readers who enjoy romance. The story of romance does not overshadow the time period in which this story takes place and the climate of the story feels like readers are in that period. It was a solid, well-written story. The romance of yesteryear is sure to pull a reader in and charm you from beginning to end.

Reviewed by: Lashonda
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By Rowan Mellor on March 25, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read this book immediately after finishing the memoir, "The Poet's Wife", by Mandy Sayer. This memoir I really was impressed with and found the author honest, eloquent, and totally charming. Unfortunately, "Love in the Years of Lunacy" was not nearly so impressive, and in fact, I found it rather immature.
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Love in the Years of Lunacy: A Novel
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